Hola amigos, It's me, Harry here, on this, the day my father was born writing about the ISLAND OF THE DEAD. Well, Dad ain't quite pushing up the grass just yet, but he does love movies with islands filled with dead people. In fact, just yesterday he brought home the Lucio Fulci ZOMBIE on DVD and .... coooool.... The whole reason I put this film on the big ol list-o-films was hoping to hear about a zombie movie.... Well our friend Grocer, bagged this one up for us... so read on...
Call me "Grocer". I'm a buddy of Hallenbeck's. Had the pleasure of meeting you at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank last year - stopped by with Lawerence Talbot to have lunch with you guys. Anyways, you're a cool dude, a good soul, and your site is a beacon in the raging shitstorm we call Hollywood.
On to business. I read for one of the production companies in town and about a year and a half ago I read the script ISLAND OF THE DEAD by Peter Koper, which I just noticed is on your list of projects your site is tracking. I have no production info on this project, other than the Hollywood Reporter shows it is currently in pre-production and ready to start shooting soon - if it isn't already.
What I can share with you is what the script is about. Picture this... New York city has been burying its unclaimed dead for decades on a small island off Manhattan. This miserable task is performed by prisoners who are ferried, along with the corpses, to the island. Unfortunately for a particular group of unlucky prisoners, and a female detective who goes with them, they are stranded on this island, which is little more than a mass graveyard.
Now, is this a kick ass set-up and locale for a great, hardcore zombie flick, or what? I drooled with delight as I started reading this, shook with anticipation as I was sure it was only moments before the dead awoke and went a-feastin! It's George Romero time...
WRONG! As if the writer suddenly decided to write a different script, the story awkwardly shifts gears and becomes a killer fly movie. WHAT?! All this zombie/corpse set-up for nothing? My jaw hit the floor as the stupid-ass plot unfolded. Apparently, a swarm of flies has been possessed by the dead souls on the island and it chases the prisoners around, occasionally enveloping and digesting a victim. None of this is scary. None of this capitalizes on the set-up or the location. Why the fuck did they call it Island of the Dead? More like "Island of the not-to-scary Swarm of Flies." Basically, this is a flat, low-budget version of "The Swarm."
Hopefully this project went through some major rewrites. But if they shoot the script I read, believe me, none of us have anything to get excited about.
Just thought I'd let you know. Keep up the good work.